In less than two seasons, Supergirl has firmly planted its flag among its sister superhero shows on The CW as the show about aliens. Arrow remains primarily focused on its team of vigilantes taking on city-wide threats. The Flash mainly pits its metahuman hero and his support group of scientists against other speedsters and powered metahumans. DC’s Legends of Tomorrow tackles the wacky world of time travel. Supergirl, however, revolves around aliens – from its titular heroine to the ghastly grotesque, and everything in between.
Aliens are welcome in National City, and on Supergirl‘s Earth in general (which is Earth-38 in the Arrowverse’s multiverse). Season 1 of Supergirl saw the Girl of Steel join the Department of Extra-Normal Operations to help defend the planet from extraterrestrial threats, many of which escaped from a Kryptonian maximum security penal facility called Fort Rozz, which had crashed on Earth. Supergirl ultimately lifted Fort Rozz into space and hurled it into the sun, but that only rid the world of the prison, not the aliens.
More and more aliens have been popping up on Supergirl in season 2, some friendly, most not. Cadmus, a villainous anti-alien terrorist organization controlled by Lillian Luthor (mother of Lex), exists primarily to capture, dissect, experiment on, and ultimately purge aliens from the world. Meanwhile, Supergirl has been using aliens in its stellar second season as a metaphor by which to explore relevant real-world issues of the place of refugees and immigrants in the United States and in the world at large.
Instead of a forbidding prison, Supergirl season 2 introduced an underground tavern populated by a clientele of friendly (or, at least, neutral and wanting to be left alone) aliens; a place they can go where everybody knows which planet they’re from. This is a watering hole where the suds and stiff drinks are dispensed by a Martian and a Daxamite. Amusingly, both the human and extraterrestrial agents of the DEO have even become regulars at this bar.
As Supergirl continues to robustly expand its slew of aliens species, we present this guide to the aliens of Supergirl.
Hailing from the doomed planet Krypton, Supergirl (Kara Zor-El, known by her Earth name Kara Danvers) and her cousin Superman (Kal-El, known by his Earth name Clark Kent) are our greatest heroes. Able to absorb the solar radiation of Earth’s yellow sun, Kryptonians are among the most powerful beings in the universe. The powers of flight, super strength, invulnerability, super speed, X-Ray Vision, Super Hearing, Super Breath, Heat Vision, and the ability to heal quickly and age more slowly than human beings essentially make Kryptonians gods on Earth.
For all their vast powers, Kryptonians also suffer from a number of weaknesses. Chief among them is Kryptonite, radioactive meteorites from Krypton that are lethal to Kryptonians (or turn them evil, in the case of red Kryptonite). They lose their powers in the light of a red sun, such as the one Krypton once orbited before it exploded. Kryptonians are also vulnerable to magic, and Supergirl has established that there are a slew of alien weapons with enough power to harm or even kill Kryptonians.
Superman and Supergirl bear the coat of arms of the House of El on their chests, which in Supergirl is a symbol that means “Stronger Together” (not “Hope,” as it did in Man of Steel). Not all Kryptonians are as altruistic as Supergirl and Superman; their late aunt Astra and her husband Non led a horde of Kryptonians that attempted to subjugate mankind. What’s more, Kara’s father Zor-El once worked with Kal’s father Jor-El to create Project Medusa, a virus that was harmless to Kryptonians, but designed to eradicate alien species living on Krypton.
It is their innate goodness, desire to do the right thing, their faith in people, and their dedication to protect and serve humanity that make Supergirl and Superman heroes – not their superpowers. Though the superpowers certainly help.
J’onn J’onzz (also known as Hank Henshaw, director of the DEO) thinks of himself as the Last Son of Mars, though he is more accurately the last known survivor of the Green Martian race. Green Martians are beings blessed with awesome powers; Superman himself referred to J’onn as “the most powerful being on Earth.”
Green Martians are shapeshifters, able to mimic the form of other sentient beings, as well as powerful telepaths. They are super strong, invulnerable to most physical harm, have the ability to fly, and can even become intangible and pass through solid objects. Green Martians are also extremely long-lived – J’onn is 317 years old.
J’onn escaped to Earth centuries ago following a Martian “Holocaust” where his family and the entire Green Martian race were eradicated by White Martians. The trauma of this tragedy haunts J’onn to this day. J’onn and all Green Martians are especially vulnerable to fire and extreme heat; this was the means by which the White Martians committed genocide. The blood of a White Martian, if injected into a Green Martian’s blood system, will morph a Green Martian into a White Martian.
A dedicated servant to humanity and ersatz father figure to Alex and Kara Danvers, J’onn is one of the most noble beings on Earth.
Daxam is the sister planet of Krypton. As such, Daxamites, such as Mon-El, possess abilities similar (but not as expansive) as the powers of Kryptonians. Under the light of Earth’s yellow sun, Daxamites possess super strength, super speed (Mon-El describes himself as “a very fast man” but he is not as fast as Supergirl), invulnerability, and the ability to leap tall buildings in a single bound. They lack the Kryptonian ability to fly, but Daxamites have the means to absorb electrical energy to heal themselves. Daxamites suffer from a lethal vulnerability to lead.
A war between Daxam and Krypton sowed mistrust between the two planets. The Kryptonians considered the Daxamites to be a hierarchy of selfish monarchies obsessed with self-gratification. The Daxamites in turn regarded Kryptonians as arrogant and self-righteous. These prejudices continued between Supergirl and Mon-El when they initially met.
Though Mon-El is a graduate of Supergirl and the DEO’s “Superhero Kindergarten” and even referred to himself as “the other Superman,” he has a long way to go before he becomes the kind of hero Supergirl is. In the meantime, Mon-El works as a part-time bartender and pines for a certain Girl of Steel. Soon, we will reportedly meet his Daxamite parents.
Emerging from beneath the Martian sands, the White Martians exterminated the Green Martian race and claimed dominion over the red planet. Many Green Martians were actually infected with White Martian blood and turned into White Martians. White Martians have similar powers as Green Martians: super strength, invulnerability, shape shifting, telepathy, and the ability to fly. Their native form is larger and more monstrous than Green Martians, but they also share the Martian vulnerability to fire.
White Martians are cruel and sadistic beings, with the exception of M’gann M’orzz a.k.a. Miss Martian. M’gann fled to Earth and spent years in hiding as penance for her role in the Green Martian genocide, until she was befriended by J’onn J’onzz. M’gann was also married to Armek, one of the worst of the White Martians.
The White Martians remain an imminent threat to all life on Earth.
The Coluans are a cybernetic race from the planet Colu (known as “the Computer Tyrants of Colu” in DC Comics) that spawned Brainiac. Brainiac 8, also known as Indigo, was the most dangerous prisoner in Fort Rozz, incarcerated for attempting genocide on Krypton. Indigo aided Non in activating Myriad and mind-controlling most of the people of Earth. She was seemingly killed by the Martian Manhunter, but as a cybernetic being, Indigo’s consciousness can travel across any networked computer and thus a physical “death” is temporary, if not meaningless.
Indigo can transfer her body and mind into digital code, teleport though any technology, and self-repair. In addition, her physical form has super strength and invulnerability comparable to a Kryptonian, as well as stretching and shape shifting abilities. As a Brainiac, her cold, computerized mind and her lack of humanity and compassion are perhaps Indigo’s most dangerous traits.
The Dominators hold the distinction of being the first alien race to unite the heroes of Earth-1 with the Supergirl of Earth-38. The superheroes united to prevent the Dominators’ Invasion of Earth-1. However, the Dominators also exist in the universe of Earth-38. Before Kara Danvers was born, the Dominators arrived on Krypton and performed lethal experiments on several Kryptonians. The Dominators seemingly have not traveled to Earth-38 as their counterparts on Earth-1 did, but a Dominator was present on the planet Maaldoria when Supergirl and Mon-El were briefly enslaved by the human villain Roulette.
Dominators are known to possess super strength and telepathy, as well as the technology for interstellar travel. On Earth-1, the Dominators possessed a metagene bomb, which could wipe out the metahumans of Earth, but this seemingly is not technology the Dominators of Supergirl‘s universe have.
The Black Mercy is an alien parasite. Once it grips onto a host, it projects a dream of a perfect fantasy world while it feeds off the host’s life essence. In the Supergirl episode “For The Girl Who Has Everything,” the Black Mercy was left as a “present” by Non. It made the unconscious Kara imagine she was back home living on a Krypton that never exploded. The origins of the Black Mercy are as yet unknown. We learned in the episode “Luthors” that Lex Luthor possessed a Black Mercy and was keeping it in a secret vault to one day use against Superman.
Affiliated with Veronica Sinclair, the villainous Roulette, the Maaldorians are slave traders from the “Slaver’s Moon” Maaldoria, which orbits the red sun Octurus. Roulette located healthy humans for the Maaldorians to kidnap and sell in their intergalactic slave trade. Supergirl, Mon-El, and the DEO rescued the humans and returned them home to Earth. The Martian Manhunter did not participate in this operation because the atmosphere of Maaldoria is toxic to Martians.
Prior to her business dealings with Maaldoria, Roulette ran an underground alien fight club. Her champion pro wrestler was an alien of unspecified origin called Draaga. Draaga is powerful enough to physically battle both Miss Martian and Supergirl. He won his initial encounter with Supergirl before the Girl of Steel bested Draaga in a rematch.
The K’hund are a super strong and dangerous warrior race. A K’hund was imprisoned in Fort Rozz by Supergirl’s mother Alura Zor-El and, after escaping and robbing a bank on Earth, the K’hund encountered Supergirl while she was under the influence of red Kryptonite. Supergirl let the K’hund go, saying he was “not worth her time.” The DEO later recaptured the K’hund.
Scorcher is an Infernian, a race with the ability to project and control fire, as well as being the only other race besides Kryptonians to possess heat vision. Supergirl saved President Olivia Marsdin from Scorcher when the President arrived in National City to sign the Alien Amnesty Act. Scorcher was captured and was imprisoned by the DEO.
The Queen of the planet Almerac, Maxima came to Earth to romantically pursue Superman, the only man she deemed worthy of her. Maxima briefly escaped imprisonment from the DEO only to be defeated and reincarcerated by Supergirl. Maxima has super strength and invulnerability to rival a Kryptonian. She did not, however, display the telekinetic and telepathic powers her DC Comics counterpart possesses.
The first alien Kara Danvers battled after becoming Supergirl, the Valeronian named Vartox was an escaped Fort Rozz prisoner possessed of super strength and invulnerbility. Valeronians can also leap great distances. Vartox’s weapon of choice was an atomic axe, which Supergirl destroyed. Vartox then used a shard of the axe to commit suicide.
Imprisoned in Fort Rozz on Krypton, the Hellgrammite escaped the prison on Earth and became an agent of Astra. An insect-like shapeshifter possessed of super strength and super leaping ability, the Hellgrammite can also eject lethal stingers from his body. Alex Danvers defeated the Hellgrammite by using his own stinger against him.
Jemm, a Saturnian, was a Fort Rozz prisoner with physical strength and psychic powers similar to a Martian. Jemm escaped and terrorized the DEO during a lockdown before being strangled to death by the Martian Manhunter.
The Master Jailer was a former guard at Fort Rozz who hailed from the planet Trombus. Disguised as National City police detective Carl Draper, the Master Jailer hunted down Fort Rozz escapees and imprisoned Supergirl as well. The Master Jailer’s battle armor made him a match in battle for a Kryptonian.
An alien from Starhaven was a fellow prisoner of the Master Jailer. The Starhavenite lived on Earth for years as an astronomy professor named Alphonse Luzano. After she defeated the Master Jailer, Supergirl allowed the Starhavenite to resume his life on Earth.
President Olivia Marsdin
The President of the United States in Earth-38, Olivia Marsdin is a crusader for alien rights and came to National City to sign the Alien Amnesty Act. She is a supporter of the DEO and of J’onn J’onzz remaining as the director and face of the organization. In turn, Supergirl is a huge fan of the President. Marsdin is also an alien herself, though her race is currently a mystery.
Maggie Sawyer also once dated Darla, a Roltikkon who was a waitress at National City’s alien dive bar. As a Roltikkon, Darla could make telepathic connections and learn languages by making physical contact with her tongue.
As Supergirl‘s world expands, no doubt even more aliens will find their way to National City. Prominent alien worlds in DC Comics not yet referenced in the series include Rann, Durla, Thanagar, the home of Hawkman, Tamaran, homeworld of Starfire of the Teen Titans, and Warworld, the home of the tyrant Mongul. Time will tell how many more alien races will cross Supergirl’s path as potential friend or foe.